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Border police chief accused of raping minor in Ratanakkiri

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Toun Mesa stands accused of rape. Facebook

Border police chief accused of raping minor in Ratanakkiri

Ratanakkiri Provincial Court is set to summon a border police chief in Phikh village of O’Yadav district’s Sesan commune for questioning over accusations about the rape of a minor under the age of 15.

Provincial court spokesman Keo Pisoth told The Post on January 11 that according to a case filed with the court by the provincial police’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Juveniles Protection Bureau on January 6, the accused is named Toun Mesa.

“At this time, the prosecutor is investigating and planning to summon the accused to come and answer for himself in this matter,” he said.

According to the girl’s complaint dated December 1 last year, Mesa called her to have dinner at a restaurant on the evening of November 30, and she went to meet him there with her aunt Srey Neang.

After dinner at around 9pm, Mesa asked the girl to have dessert with him and told her aunt to take a motorbike back home, guaranteeing to her that he would drive the girl home safely himself.

However, Mesa did not take the girl out for dessert and instead took her to a guesthouse in Banlung town and forced her to have sex with him, the complaint said.

Reached by The Post for comment on January 11, Mesa denied the allegations, claiming he was currently on security duty along the Cambodian-Vietnamese border and had no time to pay attention to the complaint.

“I don’t worry about this because I did not commit the crime. I will appear [for questioning] if the court issues a summons for me,” he said

A local police officer who asked not to be named told The Post on January 11 that the accusations were true because after receiving the complaint, a senior police official tried to facilitate a settlement between the girl and Mesa outside of court.

He said Mesa offered six million riel ($1,500) in compensation to the girl’s family. After receiving the money, he said the girl went to the police station to withdraw her complaint, citing reasons that she wanted to protect the honour and dignity of her family.

However, provincial deputy police chief in charge of anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection Keo Davy told The Post that the girl had tried to withdraw her complaint three times but had not given any reasons.

“We don’t know what motivates her attempts to withdraw her complaint, but we’ve already sent the case to the prosecutor for further action,” she said.

Provincial police chief Yin Chamnan said the case was now out of the police’s hands.

“Now that this case has reached the court, let the court handle the matter. It’s beyond my jurisdiction.”

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